Dear Editor, We the undersigned call on Midlands based E.ON to urgently reconsider its position on investment in new unabated coal-fired power generation for the UK.
E.ON has the opportunity to become a global leader in the green energy revolution. Recently E.ON made the right choice to invest in the London Array, the UK’s largest wind farm, as well as a number of other renewable energy projects. Investing in renewable energy is not only the right thing to do for the planet, for people and for our energy needs: a new UN report shows that green technology will create millions of new jobs worldwide ‘Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World’.
The truth is we do not need new coal power and we are writing to ask you, as Chief Executive of E.ON, to stop investing in new coal at Kingsnorth. If the government keeps its renewable energy promises and delivers on reducing its emissions targets, together with all of us using our energy more efficiently, there is enough energy to go round.
E.ON has impressive targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. However, a new coal-powered station at Kingsnorth will add over seven million tonnes of carbon to UK emissions – more than the annual emissions of 30 developing countries. There is currently no guarantee that Kingsnorth will be fitted with carbon capture and storage – which anyway is not yet commercially viable at scale.
Building Kingsnorth will not only contribute to higher carbon emissions but will open the way for more coal powered stations to be built globally and will discourage investment in the renewable energy sector.
E.ON’s website states “We believe we have a responsibility to help lead the UK into a new low carbon era… We can’t expect to influence others unless we are prepared to lead by example.”
We are asking E.ON to lead by example now. Do not build Kingsnorth and instead invest more in renewable energies.
Professor of Economics,
University of Warwick.
Chair, World Development Movement, Coventry.
Coventry Friends of the Earth.
Christian Aid, Coventry.
People and Planet,
University of Warwick.
Supporting those who support rural schools
Dear Editor, Awfully encouraging to read Owen Patterson’s plea urging voters only to support councillors who are pledged to support rural schools.
I fear, however, that implies the de-selection of all the Conservative county councillors (bar one) since they all voted in December for the policy of mass closure of schools. Top of the list for de-selection presumably will be Anne Hartley (Ellesmere) who led the charge.
Locally, we should also see the departure of couns David Minnery and David Erwin of Market Drayton, cabinet member Gerald Dakin – and no less a figure than council chairman, Brian Gillow.
All of them supported the policy of mass closure.
However most of our leading Conservative schools-closures-candidates have been reselected. The Tories are utterly at odds on this issue and not to be trusted.
The only party who have affirmed in principle support, and how have urged a coherent educational policy for all our children, is the Liberal Democrats.
Let’s hope voters heed Owen’s plea and vote Liberal Democrat next June.
Couny Lib Dem Leader.
What about rest of West Midlands?
Dear Editor, I had to look twice at the cover of your 100 great things about the West Midlands supplement. Your sub-editors clearly made an error in describing it as such as at least 70 of the hundred were from Birmingham and a number of others unspecified.
The rest of the region was almost invisible. No Walsall Art Gallery or Arboretum, no National Arboretum, no Long Mynd or Stiperstones, no Hereford Cathedral or Mappa Mundi, no Sandwell Valley, no Warwick University or Arts Centre, no Stoke-on-Trent at all, no real ale or cider, no Wolverhampton Grand, no Metro, no Lichfield or Shrewsbury, not even Ludlow’s gastronomic paradise, no speedway or horse-racing.
The list could go on.
If the English Tourist Board put out a 100 great things about England with 70per cent in London and maybe three in the Midlands how would Birmingham react?
No wonder people are suspicious of the Greater Birmingham tag – apart from being ugly it reflects a view from Birmingham that the rest of the Midlands is just an embarrassing appendage of no value and little interest.
Perhaps your next supplement could be entitled How to drive around the West Midlands with your eyes shut.
Coun Roger Lawrence,
Leader of the Labour Group,
Wolverhampton City Council.
No EU rules were ‘bent’
Dear Editor, Further to the article “EC bends state aid rules with approval of B&B rescue plan” of October 2, I would like to point out that absolutely no rules were “bent” in the European Commission’s approval of the Government’s rescue package to bail out Bradford and Bingley.
If the sub editor who wrote this erroneous headline had taken the time to read the body of the wire piece (by esteemed Press Association Europe Editor, Geoff Meade) they would have learnt that rather than bending any rules, the European Commission went to great lengths to ensure a correct and prompt decision in a critical situation.
If anything is to be learnt from this financial crisis, then surely it is that attention to detail is everything; not least in the headlines of well regarded newspapers such as The Birmingham Post.
Press Officer, European Commission,
Representation in the UK.
Fuelling the air transport debate
Dear Editor, John Hemming MP (Birmingham Yardley), chair of the Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, attacked the Government over their plans for aviation growth when speaking on Radio Four’s You and Yours recently. Where does this leave his relations with neighbouring Liberal Democrat MP, Lorely Burt (Solihull) and Birmingham’s Liberal Democrat councillors who wholeheartedly support the extension of Birmingham Airport’s runway, which will increase the number of flights?
For the record, Mr Hemming said: “(the Government is planning) for a growth in air transport, it’s a farce... when there isn’t... the fuel to power it.” I couldn’t agree more.
Green Party Prospective MEP,
West Midlands Region.
Unfair to the societies
The Government has provided £14 billion to protect the deposits of Bradford & Bingley’s 2.6 million savers but is now asking that the 700 financial companies which take deposits pay the interest each year.
Its Financial Services Compensation Scheme said each company would have to pay in proportion to the deposits held, and that the 59 building societies between them will have to pay about 18 per cent of the cost – £81 million to pay the first year’s interest.
As the director general of the building societies’ trade association said, this is unfair:
“It is galling that those institutions that behaved prudently in the housing market upswing are now being called upon to pay some of the bills of those institutions that were far less prudent.”